Nolan Ryan was a Hall of Fame flame-thrower on the mound. But the Texas Rangers team president insists he didn’t put any heat on Yankees southpaw Andy Pettitte to join his defending American League champions next year.
Contradicting Tuesday’s published reports that he was recruiting Pettitte in view of Rangers left-hander Cliff Lee potentially signing with the Bronx Bombers as a free agent, Ryan told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he simply exchanged pleasantries with his fellow Texan in recent weeks.
“I asked him if he thought he was going to play in 2011 or retire,” the 63-year-old pitching legend told the newspaper. “He said if he played it would be with the Yankees because he wanted to retire with the Yankees.
“It wasn’t like I was asking him if he wanted to come play for us,” Ryan added.
Pettitte, 38, went 11-3 with a 3.28 ERA in 21 starts last season, despite missing nearly two months with a groin injury. The 38-year-old still hasn’t decided if he will retire following his 16th season.